What’s up in Perú? There are some strange songs being recorded that seem to blend sex and innocence in a way I’ve never seen before. I don’t live there, but I’ve visited and I’ve met a lot of amiable Peruvians. I’m not at all suggesting there’s something wrong with them. Some of these songs are just plain weird to my particular cultural perspective. Let’s take this most recent one I’ve seen. It’s called “Metelo Ya, Sacalo Ya.”
That’s right. Put it in and take it out. Hmm. What could that mean? Well, I’ll tell you the visuals in the video so you don’t have to watch if you don’t want to. I wasn’t warned. It would have been nice. The nice lady Virginia Segura basically sings that refrain over and over again while twirling about a field in a bulbous, colorful and modest dress with a hat on. She almost looks like a grown-up, plump doll. The camera zooms in around her waist area and she does a little more bouncing. Granted, it’s not overly sexualized and she is fully clothed. She then sings “Somos solteritos para gozar.” So that’s the gist. Put it in and take it out. We are single so we can enjoy it. In case you are still unclear, they put a whole plethora of copulating pairs of primates scattered throughout the video. Horses, monkeys, pigs and more. It’s all so innocent and yet not innocent at all. The animal close-ups are just creepy. Do people really enjoy that in their music videos?
And then there’s Wendy. Oh, Wendy Sulca. In this video she is 8 years old and sings about how much she enjoys breastfeeding. The camera shows her in a sort of traditional dress accompanied by a bunch of boys. “Day and night, I drink from my little breast. How delicious!” “De día y de noche, tomo mi tetita. Qué rico! Rico, rico, rico!” I don’t know if 8 year-olds in Perú are fed this way. The video shows several mothers feeding their very young children, which as a public service announcement makes sense I guess. Also, a pig mama feeds her little piglets and Wendy bounces up and down on her bed in her pink bedroom. The weirdest part is then a pretty young lady walks through the scene, two guys notice her and make motions signalling that they like her breasts and the announcer calls out that the “tetita” is also enjoyed by males aged 18 and over. But Ojo! They must be 18. The juxtaposition of breast-feeding-as-delicious with older males enjoying it too is the part that gets me.
This last little gem I’ll leave you with isn’t quite in the same vein, but now Wendy is a bit older and announces that she has become hardcore. The song is actually called “Me Pongo Hardcore.” It’s mostly the title that’s funny. She is clearly trying to copy Today’s Teen Pop Stars.
Television in Chile has all the crap one can find in most places like “reality” TV, game shows and celebrity shite, but there are some stand-outs worth checking out online. One is called En Su Propia Trampa or Caught In Your Own Trap and is so classically Chilean. It is about people who make a living out of estafas or trampas, which are bullshit stories used to sucker money or other gain out of unwitting folks. I catch it every once in awhile and every time I do I find myself maybe a little too excited to watch the hustlers fall. The most recent one featured a woman who made up a story about having cancer, being a psychologist and helping other children with cancer and receiving a lot of donated cash through her website stuffed full with tall tales. The show producers typically set up a scenario in which the liars are publicly called out and made to answer to their lies. In this recent episode they brought out a mess of witnesses who she’d lied to or representatives from the universities she’d supposedly attended or hospitals where she was allegedly seeking treatment who all unequivocally stated they had no record of her ever in attendance or that they in fact do not treat cancer at their hospital, so she could not possibly be their patient. Then the liars usually kick it into high gear but there is nothing more than can really say. There is something thrilling about watching the shysters squirm.
My personal favorite is Recomiendo Chile hosted by Chilean chefs. It is about food, drink and travel throughout Chile. How could you go wrong? Aside from the capital with half of the country’s population, the rest of the country is fairly rural. There are several mid-sized cities of course, but thousands of small towns that are simply gorgeous and inspire one to leave the city behind. The show features a lot of scenery and recipes from the Mapuche people in the Araucanía region, to the Italian families of Capitán Pastene, fisher-families on the sea, Easter Island [Rapa Nui], the various indigenous peoples in the northern highlands or even the sizable German population in the south, and so on and so forth. It makes me want to hop in the car that I don’t have and just go! It’s best to watch this show after eating, or you will just suffer through it. It is, however, a slower-paced lazy stroll through the nation. There is nothing adventure sport about it. They have a lot of clips on the ‘tube. Here is just a minute of season 3.
An excellent drama now in it’s final season is called Los 80’s [ochentas] about living in Chile through the dictatorship during the eighties. It follows an average family as their lives are affected by the changing political situation and strife that was life for many during that time. The characters are well-written and acted and really draw the viewer in. It’s quite helpful to paint a picture of life that is beyond the bare facts and figures of that era. The show successfully captures the style, fashion and imagery of that decade. Again, a great snapshot of Santiaguinos casual speech. This is the first part of the first episode, first season.
Lastly, 31 Minutos! This show is loved by children of all ages. It’s a sarcastic and hilarious, puppet-based fake news broadcast and features music by all kinds of Chilean bands who make funny songs specifically for the show. The original program ended in 2008, but it was recently revived to the delight of grown-up kids everywhere.
If you’re on your way to Chile or already here and want a good source for foody connections, join the Facebook group “Food Finds – Chile”. It is full of good folks from around the globe who are into food, drink, cooking and dining out with a ton of good tips on how to find what you need to make a feast. In the last five plus years that I’ve been here, the food scene has really exploded, but you still have to know where to go and where to avoid. The range is vast on the quality spectrum. Also, I mentioned on there that I have dairy kefir grains, yogurt culture [the real deal] and kombucha SCOBY for gifting if anyone is on the lookout at any point. Just hit me up! And of course – spread the love. Happy food hunting.